SECURITY forces on Sunday captured the top most wanted New People’s Army rebel in Agusan del Norte during an operation in Carmen town, officials announced yesterday.
Joaquin Mardinian alias ‘Ka Alto/Jun-jun’ was described as the no. 2 most wanted criminal in the province prior to his arrest in Barangay Tagcatong in Carmen, Agusan del Norte by combined agents of the Police Regional Office 13 and the Philippine Army 4:30 a.m. last Saturday, Rizal Day.
PRO13 director Chief Superintendent Gilbert DC Cruz said that Madrinian is the commanding officer of the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) and Intelligence Officer of the NPA’s North Central Mindanao Committee’s Sub-Regional Committee WANAS.
The official said that the suspect was finally caught following weeks of surveillance by members of the Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion under the Army’s 402nd Infantry Brigade based in Bancasi, Butuan City and the Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office and the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
The suspect yielded a caliber .45 pistol with a loaded magazine, 22 live cal. .45 ammunition and a hand grenade.
The suspect was accused of involvement in crimes in the region and is the subject of several warrants of arrest for multiple murder, Cruz said.
He said that the suspect is wanted for the killings of several Lumad leaders in Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur specifically for the death of a Mayor Otaza, Ricardo Sulhayan alias “Datu Ka Doy Saliganan” of Nasipit, Datu Ernesto Mandahinog Burdios and civilians Jane Burdios, Junior Ligsanan, JR Castilla, and Lauro Hunasan.
The suspect was also believed to be involved in an attack on the Carmen Municipal Police Station in Agusan del Norte on March 16, 2003 and was said to be one of the men who torched a local company and harassed another PNP patrol base in Camagong area last July 22.
The suspect is now facing additional non-bailable charges for illegal possession of explosive and firearm and ammunition.